AMC Ambassador

In 1969, the Ambassador received a major restyling, with a 4-inch (102 mm) gain in overall length and wheelbase. The 122-inch (3,099 mm) wheelbase was accompanied by an increase in front and rear track from 58.5 to 60 inches (1,486 to 1,524 mm).[41] The front end appearance was revised with new quad headlight clusters mounted horizontally in a new molded plastic grille. The grille itself was blackout with a chrome horizontal bar that connected the headlight clusters. The hood was redesigned to accommodate the grille's raised center portion, and it faintly recalled Packard's classic grille/hood combination. Richard A. Teague, AMC's Vice President of Styling, had worked at the luxury car manufacturer before joining AMC. Parking lights were rectangular and mounted horizontally in recessed wells in the front bumper, just beneath each set of headlights. The entire front fascia leaned forward slightly to lend an air of forward motion to the car's appearance.

At the rear, ribbed rectangular taillights were mounted inboard the Ambassadors rearward-thrusting rear fenders. Square ribbed marker lights of similar height were mounted at the trailing edge of each fender side. The deck lid had a slightly higher lift over. The base and DPL models had no decorative panel connecting the taillights while the top-line SST versions featured a panel painted red to match the taillights. Station wagons saw vertical wraparound taillights replacing the previous "hooded" units, which were not visible from the side. The 1969 AMC Ambassador was a smooth, powerful, well-proportioned sedan that did not look like anything else on the road.

The interiors were upgraded and a new deeply hooded dashboard clustered instruments and controls in front of the driver. There was an increased emphasis on luxury-type trim and features. The base model two-door hardtop was dropped for 1969.

The 1969 Ambassador stressed luxury, with the marketing tagline developed by Mary Wells Lawrence at the Wells Rich Greene agency, tying the car's value, "It will remind you of the days when money really bought something." The combination of rich velour upholstery, individually adjustable reclining seats, standard air conditioning, and the longer wheelbase were highlighted in advertisements with Ambassador's posh"limousine" ride at an economical price. One aspect of this new advertising theme included many AMC dealers inviting prospective customers to call and request a "demonstration ride", in which a uniformed chauffeur would arrive at the prospect's home and drive them around in an Ambassador SST sedan. AMC's efforts worked, and Ambassador sales shot up again.

Not only did AMC promote the 1969 Ambassador as having a "limousine" ride and deluxe appointments, but Chicago auto leasing executive, Robert Estes, had the Armbruster/Stageway Company[44] convert Ambassadors into real 24-foot (7.3 m) limousines riding on a 158-inch (4,013 mm) wheelbase. Known as the Royale Stretch Limo, one was owned by the State of Wisconsin as the official vehicle for Governor Warren Knowles. The conversions were unusual in that they did not keep the stock rear doors—as is typical in most limos. The back doors were welded shut and the Ambassadors were lengthened by inserting a section just behind the original B-pillar that had an entirely new central door in this center making a large opening for entry and egress. Four-inch (100 mm) steel "I-beams" bridge the expanse created by stretch. Power comes from the "AMX" 315 hp (235 kW; 319 PS) 390 cu in (6.4 L) V8 engine backed with the BorgWarner automatic transmission and a "Twin-Grip" limited-slip differential with 3.15 gears.

American Motors exported Ambassadors from the United States, as well as assembled under license from complete knock down (CKD) kits. They were adapted to the requirements of different markets, including right-hand drive (RHD) versions.

Source: Wikipedia, 2014

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